Last week I spoke before almost 400 delegates at International Living’s Ultimate Event in Quito.
We looked at many ways to earn..from exporting flowers… to…
creating unique handbags… like these leather bags in Cotacachi.
Ecuador is a beautiful country with many wonderful income earning and export opportunities.
However conducting business in Ecuador requires time and this requires knowing the visa regulations.
An excerpt from a recent password protected Ecuador Living update shows new enforcement procedures on Ecuador visas.
In the past, visitors could stay for 90 days on a tourist visa and then expect to stay on 90 days more if they left Ecuador for even one day.
The immigration authorities were very lax about this visa and the normal procedure if you wanted to stay longer was to give another 90 days. This meant you could use a tourist visa to stay in Ecuador up to 180 days a year.
Or you could do as Merri and I did for years… come in for five or six weeks… leave… come back for five or six weeks etc. Each time they gave 90 more days.
A new type visa has been made easier to stay 180 days BUT the relaxation over the tourist visa has been withdrawn.
Readers discovered this in a very harsh way when leaving Ecuador after spending the Christmas holiday at their condo in Cuenca. This reader had been in and out of Ecuador three previous times in 2009 attending to renovations and furnishing the condo. No one stay was longer than 30 days. The between times on visits was a matter of months. On the fourth trip the total time for 2009 was 104 days. None of those stays was for more then 30 days.
At Quito Airport the reader was prevented from leaving the country and was told by the Immigration official at the exit booth, that the maximum annual stay could be no more than 90 days.
The reader had to pay a fine of $200.
Even worse was told not to return to Ecuador for nine months and that to be allowed back would require a special visa from the Ecuadorian Consulate in the US.
The immigration attorney whom we introduce to our readers explained:
“Usually non Ecuadorians have been able to stay in Ecuador as a tourist for 90 days. After they used these first 90 days, they used to get 90 days more as a tourist if they requested an extension at an immigration office prior of expiry of the first 90 days.
“Several months ago immigration changed its policy. Now instead of renewing a tourist visa for 90 days they grant a 180 day Commercial Acts Visa.
“In a way this new procedure makes it more convenient (though more expensive) to stay for longer periods.
“If a non Ecuadorian wants to stay in Ecuador in any one year for more than 90 days with a tourist visa, they can still apply to the immigration authorities for an extension. If they leave Ecuador in their first stay of the year before reaching 90 days, BUT anticipate returning in that same year, and that return stay will take them beyond 90 days total in that year, before leaving, they should petition the immigration authorities either prior to leaving the first time, or before returning to Ecuador via a local consulate office near their overseas home (USA, Canada, England, etc).
“These changes in immigration policy are actually changes in strictness of enforcement of the procedures, not the procedures themselves.
“The easiest approach though is for those wishing to stay more than 90 days a year in Ecuador to go to an Ecuador consul and apply for the Commercial Acts Visa, good 180 days travel in a calendar year. This allows a total of 180 days stay in Ecuador without any extension beyond the 90 day maximum under a tourist visa.
“The fee for the Commercial Act Visa is $230 per person. Given the growing restrictions and/or increased enforcement on the tourist visa and extensions beyond 90 days, this is a good option for those who want to maximize their time in Ecuador but who do not with to apply for a full resident visa.”
I have sent5 this reminder because the Commercial Acts Visa provides a period of time.. NOT… a number of days… to be in Ecuador. There is an detailed explanation and more important immigration points to observe in two password protected updates sent to our Ecuador Living subscribers. Learn how to subscribe here.
You are now updated. Immigration procedures have changed so be sure to plan ahead and make sure your visas are in order if you plan to stay in Ecuador for more than 90 days.
Join Merri and me March 11-14 for Super Thinking + Spanish Course, Mt. Dora, Fl.
March 15 Travel to Quito
March 16 Travel Quito Cotacachi
March 17-18 North Andes, Imbabura & Cotacachi Real Estate Tour
March 19-20 Cotacachi Shamanic Tour
March 21 Travel Cotacachi to Manta
March 22-23 Manta & Mid Coast Real Estate Tour
March 24 Travel Manta to Cuenca
March 25-26 Cuenca Real Estate Tour
March 27 Travel Cuenca to Salinas
Mar. 28-29 Salinas & South Coast Real Estate Tour
Even Better. Greater Savings. Our 2010 International Club membership allows you and a guest to attend as many of the 51 courses and tours we’ll sponsor and conduct in 2010 (fees would be $40,947 for all these courses individually) is only $3,500.
International Club Three Monthly Payments of $1,190
Our Spring 2010 schedule starts:
Apr. 12-15 Ecuador Export Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 17-18 Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 20-21 Coastal Mid Coast Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 23-24 Quito & Mindo Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 26-27 Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
The multi tour discounts remain effective for the April tours.